The tension between the members of the Sea-Freight Pineapple Exporters of Ghana (SPEG) and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) is rising with the association demanding an immediate renewal of their licenses to enable them to export their produce outside the country.
According to the members, if the GPHA fails to renew their stevedore and shore handling licenses by March 31, 2021, they will be forced to dump their fruits at the Port and divert their cargo to the port of Lome, Togo for onward shipment to the international market.
The Exporters Association is angry over what they say are unnecessary interferences by the GPHA which have led to additional costs to their operations to the tune of $245, 796, and 283,809 in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
In a resolution passed by the members of the Association at an emergency meeting, the group said GPHA must also fully refund the cost incurred to the association members.
The resolution follows a petition issued by SPEG and Fruit Terminal Company to Parliament in support of the approval of the Agric Minister, Dr. Afriyie Akoto, who had been accused of abrogating a contract that could lead to a $50 million judgment debt.
President of SPEG, Solomon Benjamin, said the claims against the Agric Minister and the threat of judgment debt were hollow and of little effect.
On their threat to use the Lome port, Mr. Benjamin stated that if SPEG moves its consignment to Lome that could potentially affect Ghana’s trade policies at a time when the government is leading efforts towards the African Continental Free Trade Area.